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Archive for the ‘Drama’ Category

Brace yourselves! Vern reviews Cronenberg’s A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE!!!

Friday, September 23rd, 2005

SPOILER ALERT !!

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with our own Vern who tells ya’ straight about David Cronenberg’s A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE, a film I was scheduled to see last night, but I ended up sneaking into a test screening for a much anticipated horror flick instead. I figured I can see HISTORY OF VIOLENCE much sooner than I’d see this other film, so I ditched out of the screening. I’m dying to see it, though!

Now Vern’s review doesn’t go into any deep spoilers, but he talks about a little bit of stuff not in the trailer, so I went ahead and smacked a spoiler warning for the purists out there. As always, Vern did a bang-up job and wrote a piece that had me laughing along. Enjoy!

Harry and friends,

First of all Moriarty, to finish up that debate we were having over in your talkback, porn is not boring. At least not if you’re jerkin off to it. And if you’re not jerkin off to it you’re not giving the picture the respect it deserves. That’s like doing a crossword puzzle during a subtitled movie and then saying the movie didn’t make any sense. I know Alberto Gonzales recently declared a “war on porn” one of the administration’s highest priorities, but don’t write off the merits of hardcore porn without giving it a fair chance. Let’s show some class here, bud. That’s first of all. Second of all, I got a review of David (JASON X) Cronenberg’s excellent new picture A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE starring Viggo Mortensen. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Lord of War

Sunday, September 18th, 2005

Here’s a great idea for a movie: a comedy about gun running. A movie that asks what kind of a soul-less, inhuman bastard gets rich supplying weapons to warlords and “freedom fighters” they damn well know are gonna use them to massacre innocent people. A movie that is not shy about pointing out the US government’s participation in this horrible industry. But remember I said a comedy, not some depressing documentary or self righteous oscar bait picture. A dark satire with serious bite, so it gets to you, but you don’t feel like you’re drinking castor oil. It’s more like Flinstones vitamins.

Great idea, but not a great movie. And maybe I’m losing my touch, but like THE BROTHERS GRIMM, this is one where I couldn’t always put my finger on what exactly wasn’t working. It’s much more involving than BROTHERS GRIMM and doesn’t feel as muddled or sloppy. But it was another one that didn’t quite connect with me. It seemed like it should work, but it didn’t. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Me and You and Everyone We Know

Thursday, September 15th, 2005

Here on earth there are certain individuals blessed or cursed with a special knack for observing shit, noticing shit and looking at shit in different ways than you or I would. Picking up on things other people don’t or explaining things in ways nobody else would’ve thought of. This skill, this Gift, this power, can come in many forms and be used for many different things. You could become a philosopher or a great leader, like Jesus or Martin Luther King, Jr. Alot of people, if they had it real strong, would become an artist. Andy Warhol is the obvious best example. Unfortunately, most people born with The Gift use their power for evil: standup comedy mostly. Also some of them become characters in Richard Linklater’s non-studio movies.

Miranda July, who wrote and directed and starred in this picture, apparently uses The Gift for performance art. Or video installations. Or something like that, I guess. But also for this movie. It’s one of those movies where you can tell she had a journal full of random ideas and then figured out how to string them all together. Alot of times a movie like that can be really good, because it feels so packed full of inspiration. AMELIE was a movie like that, where a million little Jeunet ideas were glued all over the top of a love story. In this one the ideas are less integrated, it’s more like a list of the ideas in movie form. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Four Brothers

Sunday, August 21st, 2005

A saintly old white lady gets killed during a liquor store robbery in Detroit. She has four adopted sons that return to town for her funeral – Mark Wahlberg from Boogie Nights, Andre Benjamin from Be Cool, Tyrese from Baby Boy, and… some kid in a leather jacket. See, this dead lady was some kind of pillar of the community, bein a grandma to all the disadvantaged kids in the neighborhood, bringing people free turkeys on thanksgiving, teaching important moral lessons and what not. But these four kids, these were the worst motherfuckers anybody ever saw… out of all the kids she helped, these were the only little shits she couldn’t get anybody to adopt, because they were too bad. The dirty dozen of juvenile delinquents. Except there’s only four of them, I think I mentioned that already but I don’t want anybody to get confused. The dirty four brothers.

So now Motown’s Most Infamous are back in the neighborhood like blaxploitation stars, and somebody out there killed their mom, and they aren’t quite as forgiving as she is so holy shit is somebody gonna have all hell brought down on them, in my opinion. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Broken Flowers

Thursday, August 11th, 2005

I don’t know if this is true, but there’s legends that Chevy Chase and Bill Murray are some kind of arch enemies. Ever since Chevy left Saturday Night Live and was replaced by Bill, there’s been some kinda bad blood between these boys. I don’t think it’s ever come to a duel, or even a wrestling bout, but you know. Probaly gave each other dirty looks or something.

If that’s true Chevy Chase must be having a shit fit these days cause Bill Murray is the only one of any of those guys that figured out how to still have a career with integrity. I guess there aren’t too many guys left from that era of comedy, and I’m not sure if Chase even counts because I can’t remember the last time he made a movie. But let’s use Steve Martin as a symbol. That’s what you’re supposed to do now, you’re supposed to make shitty studio comedies with no style or imagination that nobody will ever remember. You’re supposed to be considered funny on the basis of distant memories. Not current reality. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Unleashed

Friday, May 13th, 2005

(or DANNY THE DOG if you’re in Europe)

This is just your typical martial arts vehicle where the star (in this case Jet Li) has been raised like an animal in a cage and wears a collar and he’s trained by Bob Hoskins so that when the collar comes off he goes ape shit and beats the holy living fuck out of people that owe Bob Hoskins money. But then obviously he meets a blind piano tuner played by a respected Oscar winning actor (in this case Morgan Freeman) who teaches him about music and then the piano tuner’s stepdaughter teaches him to eat ice cream and then she gets her braces taken off so he becomes non-violent and refuses to fight in high stakes death matches.

Actually come to think of it this is not a typical martial arts movie at all, it’s pretty fuckin weird and that’s what I liked about it. Despite HERO I’m still pretty skeptical of new Jet Li movies, especially when he’s speaking the english type language. This is a good not great movie, but it’s a great move for Mr. Li because he plays a distinct character, he really gets to act, he fights in a different style and he even gets to put a sincere anti-violence message in there. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Rififi

Wednesday, May 4th, 2005

You wanna see a BADASS fuckin movie, you see RIFIFI. That’s what I wish somebody woulda told me a long time ago. Instead all they told me was how excellent it was. Now look, you know how much I care about excellence. But there’s alot of excellence in this world. I think Criterion is on number 300 or something now. How’m I supposed to watch every one of them? It won’t happen.

Unfortunately no matter how many movies a guy watches, there’s still ten thousand you’re never gonna get to watch in your lifetime. So you hear the name of these classic movies over and over again and sometimes you think “yeah yeah yeah, great movie, I know” but it doesn’t even occur to you maybe you should watch it. Look man, I don’t mind black and white, I don’t mind subtitles, I know this is Criterion Collection. But I need a hook. Nobody told me “it’s about four ex-cons planning a jewel heist.” That’s all you had to say, man. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Scarface

Friday, April 22nd, 2005

Shit man, there’s no other movie like SCARFACE, is there? Even the original SCARFACE, I bet, is nothing like SCARFACE. We got several high quality American gangster epics, but they’re always about gangsters of the Italian American persuasion and usually in New York, New Jersey or Las Vegas or somewhere. This one feels so unique because it’s about Cuban-Americans and it takes place in Miami. It has a real strong sense of place. Its wicked heart pumps the tainted blood of that godforsaken Floridian peninsula, even though they got chased out of there and had to film most of the movie on neutral territory in L.A.

This is the perfect exaggerated painting of the 1980s and the cocaine wars. The good old days. And it even makes you root for this psychotic egomaniac shithead, Tony Montana (Al Pacino [Scarface]). ‘Cause first you see him as an immigrant getting hassled by the man, working as a dishwasher and tough talking his way into bigger work, dropping off some money for some cocaine. His higher ups (small time hoods themselves) don’t believe in him. But when the dealers pull a cross on Tony and his friends and it turns into an insane bloodbath (literally, come to think of it, because alot of the mayhem takes place in the shower), all involved must admit that he handles it with, uh, flair. He leaves with the money and the yayo (a term now popular because of the movie), tells the middlemen to fuck off and brings it all straight to the area boss, who is very impressed. This is typical of his quick rise up the totem pole. Initiative, elbow grease, bootstraps, etc. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Vanishing Point

Friday, April 22nd, 2005

Under the opening credits you got these beautiful shots of small town life. Some tractors moving around. Some people working. Interesting looking old dudes watching suspiciously out screen doors.

I figured it was just a regular day in farm country until the end of the sequence when the two huge bulldozers lowered their shovels right next to each other, making a giant, shallow v-shape right in the middle of the highway. A roadblock.

I guess that explains all these media people and cops showing up right in the middle of nowhere. The natives stand around and watch. This might be the end of a long journey, at the beginning of the movie. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

King of New York

Sunday, April 17th, 2005

In this movie Christopher Walken plays Frank White who is the King of New York. He is not literally a king but actually some sort of crime boss of New York. He’s fresh out of the joint and unlike certain heroic individuals who choose to turn their life around and follow a path of Positivity, making the world a better place through art and culture, he decides to be king of new york. But he says he’s gonna build a hospital so that makes it okay.

The director is Abel Ferrara, an asshole director who I sort of like. I mean I never met the guy obviously but he’s one of those greaseballs like Vincent Gallo where, before you even see an interview with the guy, you just get the feeling he’s an asshole. In his movie DRILLER KILLER I didn’t even realize he was the star (he used a pseudonym) and I kept thinking this star really thinks he’s hot shit, it’s not just the character. What a fuckin asshole. But then I listened to the commentary track and heard Ferrara say the same exact thing about himself. So I had to like him. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.